This article will not talk about what should you do. Instead, we focus on what should you have done. If you are looking for advice, we have previously published articles on how to recover your deleted files, recover files from deleted partitions and even recover files from a computer that does not boot.
What you should have done is backed up your files. Backup is one of those things that are so underestimated and overlooked, that when you actually need it, its not there. So how do you ensure the safety of our data before it accidentally gets deleted, or crashes? We back them up.
The best utility to use for backup in our opinion is the one that is provided with with Windows: Windows Backup. Why do we recommend using this? Because its free, and it works. Windows Backup saves your entire hard drive to a single file, which should be stored in an external hard drive. An external hard drive is basically a massive USB that is used to store files from 500GB to 3TB. So if your hard drive has 1TB of space, buy an external hard drive of at least 1.5TB, as some of the space may be used by the drive's internal software.
So now you have bought your 2TB external hard drive from the store, and you want to backup your current hard disk. How do you do it?
Follow the step by step guide at our friends Microsoft.
This method is the best as it copies everything so incase the whole hard drive goes missing, or corrupts, your data can be easily accessed on the external hard drive you bought, even the little files that you didn't think mattered. We recommend you back up your whole hard drive once at month because at this rate, any significant changes/new files you have made will be safe, stored and ready to restore when your computer decides to stop working.
However, because of an emerging technology that has caught our eye, our article does not stop here. This thing that has scored its place in our prestigious article is called cloud storage. Cloud storage is the storing of your files on the internet, so it can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. This means that you can upload your entire essay collection on Google Drive, turn off your computer, but still be able to access and modify them at somewhere far away, ie, school.
How does this relate to backup? The connection is obvious. Your files can be stored on the most reliable cloud storage provider, Google. In case your computer gets stolen, or you accidentally break it, your files will be sitting soundly online. Furthermore, Google Drive places the cherry on top of the cake by allocating a folder on your computer called 'Google Drive'. This folder will be synced with your files on the cloud, and any changes to the files in the folder will also be made to those on the cloud. Hence, by using Google Drive to store your important data, you essentially possess an invisible USB stick that you can plugin by simply logging on to Google Drive.
That's all folks. Stay safe and back up your data.